Local MP asks Ministers to investigate Atos contract

Posted on: 6th November 2012

Ministers were challenged by St Ives MP Andrew George today over claims made by controversial company Atos Healthcare in tender documents.

Speaking in the Commons at Questions to the Department of Work and Pensions, Mr George said: “Disability Cornwall has expressed concern to me that the company Atos has used its name in vain, claiming it would become a local partner in the delivery of its Personal Investment Payment Assessment contract, when the company has never made any contact with Disability Cornwall or discussed the matter with them. Does the Secretary of State share my concern that Ministers may have been misled, and will this matter be investigated?”

Esther McVey, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, claimed Atos had been merely naming organisations they intended to work with in the event that their tender was successful.

A statement from Disability Cornwall backed Mr George’s actions, saying: “We have voiced our concerns about how Atos Healthcare were able to win contracts which implied it would work with organisations such as ourselves without first seeking permission from the organisations it quoted.  We hope the pressure on the Government to investigate the manner in which this tender was won is successful.”

Mr George commented: “Disability Cornwall has told me that they are highly critical of the approach and actions taken by Atos towards disabled people and would not support such a partnership.”